Get Healthy Carson City: Know your limits, drink responsibly

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Our region offers a broad variety of entertainment and nightlife that brings both tourism dollars and fun to the area. However, there is a point where a night on the town can begin to affect your health and well-being.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming more than four drinks for women, or more than five drinks for men. You should be mindful of the amount of alcohol you are consuming, because binge drinking and excessive alcohol consumption can have severe negative health outcomes.

Not only does drinking contribute to chronic diseases, such as cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, depression and heart problems, but alcohol consumption can also lead to short-term consequences like injuries, sexual assault, and impaired decision-making. Alcohol use has been linked to increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases and a heightened risk for violence. Many people think these things won't happen to them, but you have to take these health and safety risks into consideration. Are you ready and willing to deal with the consequences of drinking?

Alcohol slows down your metabolism and clouds your judgment, making you feel tired and sluggish. It can make you slower to react, which is one of the ways that it contributes to automobile accidents and injuries. Each year in Nevada, thousands of people are endangered by intoxicated drivers. In 2010, the Northern Command of the Nevada Highway Patrol arrested 1,064 people for driving under the influence of alcohol prior to a crash, and another 190 drivers who were involved in traffic crashes after they had been drinking. When you choose to drink and drive, you are endangering yourself and everyone else on the road.

Many people drink to feel better and have fun, but when you drink too much, the consequences can be anything but a good time. Understanding the increased health and safety risks associated with drinking can be an important part of making proper decisions that affect you now and in the future.

Your choices on Saturday night can influence much more than just how you feel on Sunday morning. Think twice about binge drinking, know your limits, and don't succumb to peer pressure.

For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthy or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook .com/cchhs.

In celebration of National Infant Immunization Week, Carson City Health and Human Services will be extending clinic hours on Thursday, April 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. to provide children 18 and younger with free vaccinations.


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